Description: Series of interviews of Douglas M. Perham, the creator of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics, recorded at his New Almaden Museum in June and July 1963 by Erv Rasmussen. Perham was an early wireless experimenter and radio broadcaster, and a life-long collector. The Perham Collection parallels Perham’s career and documents early electronics in the West, particularly the Santa Clara Valley, from the early 1900s to 1960. Perham was Federal Telegraph Company’s first American employee (1909) and later worked for many local firms, including Federal, Heintz and Kaufman, Dalmo Victor, Ampex and Varian Associates. An abstract of the interview was created in the late 1960s and reveals that Perham discussed the history of electronics in the U.S. and Pacific Coast, his life story, the story of Federal Telegraph Co., Lee de Forest's audion tube discovery in Palo Alto, and early electronics companies in the Bay Area. He also walks through his museum with Rasmussen, giving details of the collected equipment and archival material. Perham's collection was the basis for the Foothill Electronics Museum in Los Altos Hills, and later was donated to History San Jose in 2003.
Part 1 was recorded on June 7, 1963. Rasmussen talks about early wireless history in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties before introducing Perham. Perham recounts his childhood and his early work with Federal Telegraph Company in Palo Alto (Calif.). They discuss Lee de Forest and Marconi before entering an extended discussion about Charles “Doc” Herrold and the National Radio Company of San Francisco. This includes a very brief interview with Terry Hansen, one of Doc Herrold’s original students.
In Part 2, Perham talks about the items in his Herrold exhibit case (Sheet 4 of his inventory), before moving on to the Poulsen arc, and further discussion of National Radio Company, Marconi and Doc Herrold. The first part of the recording ends with an inventory of his Colin B. Kennedy artifacts. The second part begins on July 21, 1963, and starts with the de Forest exhibit case, and the history of Cunningham, Moorhead, de Forest, and other early tube manufacturers in San Francisco.
Part 3, recorded on June 25, 1963, begins with Sheet 6 of Perham’s inventory, the second of the de Forest exhibit cases. They proceed to discuss Poulsen, Magnavox, and Federal Telegraph.
Part 4 continues the Poulsen and Federal narrative from Part 3 before moving on to x-ray tubes. Perham notes he was importing x-ray tubes to Palo Alto from Germany in 1898. At the 27-minute mark, they start discussing the Heintz exhibit cases, and introduce Ralph Heintz, Sr., who talks about his work until 1:38:00. Returning to the inventory, Perham talks about his Federal arc and Mackay artifacts. The next recording begins on July 3, 1963, with Sheet 12 of the inventory, the General Radio exhibit case. This is followed by Radiolas, and ends with Sheet 12 and a discussion of Leonard Fuller.
Part 5 was recorded on July 10, 1963, and begins with Sheet 14 of the inventory, the loudspeakers and reproducers exhibit case. This includes a Victor photograph used by Doc Herrold, Herrold microphones, and the telegraphone. The final recording of this series on July 18, 1963, begins with Sheet 15, the KFRC transmitter room case, which also includes some KPO equipment, and some broadcast receivers. Finally, Sheet 16 of the inventory, covers televisions and television tubes. The recording ends at the Radiola short-wave adapter.
Rights: Copyrighted. Rights are owned by History San Jose. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Copyright Holder. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.